Villarroyo, black propaganda and negative campaigning

Nasty accusations will continue to fly as the May 10 election nears but does it have to be that way?

I first read the coined word Villarroyo from Fil-American lawyer, Rodel Rodis in his column at the Inquirer. He claims that “If you like the way [Gloria Macapagal Arroyo]  GMA has handled the economy, then you will be pleased with Villar. In fact, if he is elected, just call him President Villarroyo. Under him, Filipinos will soon be paying P4 billion a day interest.”

The label of “Villarroyo”—describing Manny Villar as Gloria Arroyo’s clone and candidate—cannot be classified as black propaganda, according to Filemono Sta. Ana. The one who coined the term had no intention to assign the source of “Villarroyo” to the Villar camp.  The creative person who coined “Villarroyo” points to Manuel Buencamino, a fellow at Action for Economic Reforms.


Manny Villar is not Arroyo’s secret candidate

Gilbert Remulla  refuted claims that Villar is President Arroyo’s “secret candidate,”  It was during  Manny Villar’s term as Senate president that investigations on scandals linking the president, and even members of her family, were initiated.

“If you check Villar’s track record during his term, he opened the investigation on various cases against the president, like the NBN-ZTE Broadband deal… His actions alone, prove that he is very independent and he does not tolerate all the shenanigans of the Arroyo administration.”

“Who helped install Juan Ponce Enrile (JPE) into the senate presidency? It was the Liberals. Was there any investigation against GMA by JPE? There was none… meaning the Liberals don’t want any investigation against Gloria Arroyo”

“Clearly, it is the Liberals who are pro-Arroyo,”

Nacionalista Party (NP)  guest candidates Satur Ocampo and  Liza Maza denied links with the Arroyo administration during our interview last week.

Liberal Party senatorial bet, Risa Hontiveros claims that  Villar “never categorically called for GMA’s resignation” and that he and Arroyo “share the same kind of politics—one that is corrupt and one that uses political power to promote self-interest over the interest of the majority.”

On the allegation that Aquino is the “secret candidate of Arroyo,” Risa Hontiveros added  that Satur Ocampo “is delusional.”


Yellow-colored black propaganda

There are  allegations that many of the Noynoy for President Movement’s campaign leaders based in the USA have been engaging in the yellow-colored “black propaganda.

Some emails prove that the black propaganda is not  only against Manny Villar but also at the other presidential candidates such as: US-based Supporters of Noynoy Aquino Condemn Villar-owned Mansion Hoax Because Prank May Backfire and  e-mail  that confirms bashing of Presidential Candidatesby Noynoy-Mar U.S. Campaigners.

A reader laments that “It is a pity that some Filipino-American community leaders who belong to the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NFFAA) resort to below-the-belt tactics in the Philippine presidential campaign.”

Carmen Pedrosa cannot help but expose “what I consider the most important aspect of this election: the intervention by a former colonial power.” I am less against Noynoy as I am against the people who have set him up for May 2010. Noynoy’s candidacy symbolizes unconscionable interference in our national life. We must resist it. We can’t have the direction of our country in the hands of reckless operatives, whether Filipino or non-Filipino.”

Bobby Reyes of Mabuhay Radio adds that “yellow journalism is biased opinion masquerading as objective fact. It involves sensationalism, distorted stories, and misleading images for the sole purpose of manipulating public opinion.” He then exposes the yellow-journalism practice of several Manila columnists in their bashing of Manny Villar in the 2010 presidential elections:



Fake viral email

The problem with black propaganda is that the electorate want to hear the things they want to hear and actually believe it .  Take for example the statement that went viral on the internet, titled “Why I will vote for Noynoy,” allegedly written by Winnie Monsod but which she denied ever writing it. The email says things that voters who desire good governance want to hear. I received one such email and told the sender that it is not written by Winnie Monsod. He wrote back and said “If you support Noynoy, then it doesn’t matter if  it is fake”

Wow, it goes to show how the fake email was effective in making a segment of Noynoy supporters happy.   Here’s an email that contains all the politically correct arguments which explains why Noynoy’s supporters love it and disseminate it..

Filemono Sta. Ana suspects that the email came from the other camp. Winnie’ Monsods explanation of the C-5 brouhaha hurt Manny Villar.

The article’s real objective is to discredit Winnie Monsod: Show that she has been partisan all along and that she dislikes everyone but Noynoy. The article thus at tempts to undermine the credibility and power of Winnie’s analysis regarding the C-5 scandal. It supplements Villar’s line that the corruption charges against him are politically motivated.

Black propaganda will always be a mainstay in elections. As the campaign heats up, nasty accusations will be hurled from rival camps

What remains a puzzle for me is that those who pass on the fraudulent Monsod piece—despite its incoherence and grammatical lapses—are highly educated people. They are the products of the best schools of the land; some of them have doctorate degrees. They are well-regarded in their different professions or disciplines. And some of them are friends or acquaintances of Winnie.

I have no answer, and I can only uphold an economic concept that is gaining currency—that the rational man, the homo economicus, is likewise irrational. I leave it to the behavioral scientists to explain this phenomenon, well-illustrated in the dissemination of the fake Monsod paper.

Can people become illogical during election time? The electorate need to make good informed choices and check the veracity of forwarded e-mails. The exercise of the voting matrix is to illustrate that YOU need to base your decision on a rational informed-based process.

Negative campaigning backfires

“Negative campaigning” is how campaigns distinguish themselves from opponents  since voters know nothing about candidates. A negative narrative doesn’t work if it doesn’t have a positive to counter-balance it. Ilda thinks that Noynoy Aquino supporters engage in a negative campaign that pervades local publications and the Net. She adds that “Noynoy Aquino is the candidate who has the most negative mental attitude among the rest of the presidential candidates! And his negative outlook towards the whole election process is being fuelled by his own team of supporters.”

The strategy of negative campaigning that deals with half-truths and lies will surely backfire if  it continues to be a constant. Every time a rival candidate draws a a punch, the person he hurts is  himself.  Whenever Villar remains cool and unruffled with all these allegations while, bringing the subject back to his platforms and issues, it will make him look presidential – and convey the message that he cares about the voters above all.   It does not mean that Manny Villar should not clarify all the issues hurled against him as there seems to be a lack of information from his side on some of the allegations.  He can politely set the record straight just like Gibo Teodoro’s positive campaign style. Gibo Teodoro;s campaign strategy is to discuss issues and platforms, and to refrain from taking part in political mudslinging. In this way, he hopes to convince the electorate that he is not a “trapo” although he is the administration standard bearer.

From now till election day, let’s hear our candidates tell us how to get out of the mess, We need real leadership and a candidate  that’s out there listening to the voters,  not spewing overtly negative attacks. Every other candidate needs to make a case for why they are the best person for the job.